BY ELLY KARENZI
Over 12,000 school pupils have been sent home following closure of 150 schools in Ibanda district due to lack of health facilities, with unqualified teachers and substandard classrooms. The exercise is targeting at private schools countrywide.
In Ibanda the whole exercise of closing the schools is being conducted by the chief Administrative officer, Ms. Alice Asiimwe, District Education Officer Mr. Gaidius Ahimbisibwe and District Police Commander Sp. Denis Ochama.
About 150 private schools in Ibanda district have been closed in a two day operation on orders of the district leadership.
The district education officer Mr. Gaudius Ahimbisibwe says the schools have been lacking licenses, buildings without windows and venerators, while some buildings are in bad conditions without cemented floors and are using cow dung to smear them. He said the schools have been closed temporary and when the directors and head teachers do needful will apply for inspection and will be allowed to re-open as soon as possible.
In the ongoing operation exercise some directors and head teachers have been arrested after finding them with government text books and these are now detained at Ibanda police station.
SP Denis Ochama the district police commander for Ibanda, says they will be charged with theft.
Hillary Betegyeka and Moses Tumuhimbise one of the arrested directors in an interview with our reporter blamed the ministry of education and sports of not being fair to private schools adding that these private schools are pillars of education and have been doing a great work.
Ibanda district chief administrative officer,Ms. Asiimwe says it is a directive from the ministry of education and sports to close all private schools without licenses and necessary requirements documents.
Mr. James Mugisha, a parent says that had two children in a nearby private school and now they are at home after he had paid the school dues including their lunch. Ms. Namata Nalongo, says that her three children are now at home and has paid the fees. She adds has no money to pay in UPE schools as the distance is too longer also to buy school uniforms.